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Check your mail for information about Southernwalk HOA.

Discussion in 'Southern Walk Announcements' started by Chsalas, May 31, 2017.

  1. I Hate SWHOA

    I Hate SWHOA New Member

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    Why would we even consider another contract, I was told that this all started because we were in a contract (which by the way I was very clear about when I purchased my home 13yrs ago). Everyone was all up in arms about being in the OB contract, which I never understood because it was VERY clear when everyone bought their home. So now your tell us we've spent untold dollars to get out of our OB contract just so we can get into another with much older technology? .... not clear who empowered the SWHOA to do this?
     
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  2. techeng01

    techeng01 New Member

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    Would the "deep discount" offset the continued SWHOA cost so that for the consumer it's a significant savings over disbanding the SWHOA and allowing Comcast and consumer to choose their own services? I understand the captive market would incentivize Comcast (or Verizon) to enter the market with guaranteed payments but the number of households looking for an alternative may be incentive enough (and Comcast will attempt to bluff their way to a multi-year contract). Why would cord-cutters want to subsidize others' services? Why would someone who wants it all (and willing to pay for it) accept lower tier services? What does a multi-year Comcast contract via SWHOA provide me versus allowing an open marketplace? Your informative posts imply you have insight into costs, features, and performance from Comcast. It would be interesting to compare Comcast's deeply discounted two year deals for new customers versus what you think the SWHOA could negotiate (not looking for cost break down here on the forums, as you state there are more appropriate channels).
     
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  3. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

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    Uhh.....Verizon and Comcast have MUCH newer technology than OB has.....in case you haven't realized that.
     
  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    It just kicks the can down the road. If comcast is going to be slow or roll out 'subpar' offerings if left to their own... waiting 3 years doesn't change that but just delays the problem. And you're funding it by FORCING people to pay for it. That's the problem. You are suggesting funding something on the back of everyone... when the forced enrollment is a key tenant of the previous issue.

    If you were to make the argument "Verizon isn't building out FIOS anymore... the only way we get FIOS level service is if we do a up-front deal.. and we need to do it as a whole to make it work" - that's a much more digest-able argument. You aren't 'buying an acceleration', you are buying something that wouldn't come through any other means.. and at the end of the deal, the infrastructure that WOULDN'T otherwise be there.. will now be there. And Comcast will still come at their own pace and products. So then you'll have a chance for choice.

    You've already said Comcast will likely come anyways... so why force everyone to pay for it. There seems to be little gain from that scenario.

    Really no less authority than they believe they have to enter a short term contract...

    Wait until they try to justify the existence is to maintain the easement management...
     
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  5. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    I do not have all the HOA documents handy but there is more than just the Contract that was between the SWHOA at Broadlands and Openband. There are articles of incorporation and by-laws and possibly others, I will have to check. These documents have always existed...and are separate from the telecommunications contract. Just because the telecommunications contract went away... the HOA still exists. It is not a one for one relationship. There are procedures for terminating the HOA but as long as we are working with Openband and trying to pay off the Easement... the HOA has to exist (my opinion).

    Beyond that it is up for debate. But if the HOA wants to change the bylaws, there are procedures for that too and may require a community vote (certain percent participation). I strongly encourage you all to get a hold of all the documents. And as far as the lawsuit costs... we discussed this at several meetings a long time ago. I do not have the figures handy but it is not a secret. But we are done paying that law firm for anything as far as I know.
     
  6. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    And back to your point Steve because it is exactly the case.... Verizon will not be an option unless we do an up-front deal. And to get a deal that is worthwhile (in my opinion) requires us to do it as a community. the savings are substantial. Comcast would not offer Fiber unless we agree as a community. If we let Comcast do it their way... without fiber, the internet speeds are a lot lower. From what I have seen in the proposal discussions, we would not get the packages of services that most homeowners would want.... without a community deal. Of course I do not know that for 100% certainty but the vendors have presented arguments and examples along those lines.

    Comcast will not install fiber so that is why I would not wait for them to do standard cable. Sure, there are some homeowners who do not care but I think most do....

    And according to the by-laws, thte HOA does have the authority to enter into a short-term deal contract (I believe 3 years).
     
  7. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    If you asked the community... pick from

    1) Enter a three year commitment that every home must buy into as part of your HOA fees so you can get access to 100mbs internet
    or
    2) Allow each homeowner to choose what internet works for them, have no locked in HOA fee, but you can only get up to 75mbs internet

    Do you really think the vast majority would support locked in fees just so you could get 'better technology' that 99% of people don't really need?

    Getting Verizon FIOS in would be very desirable... and my argument is... because these days Verizon won't do it on their own anymore. But would I suggest EVERYONE be locked in to subsidize the geek factor? I think that's a tough sell. But I think that is an entirely different argument than presenting it as 'This is the only way we get good internet' - I think that's disingenuous unless Comcast has said they won't build here.. which from your comments they have not said.

    'Only lay RG-6' - so what.. that service is good enough for the vast majority of the country, and that gets you good high speed service these days. And each home could pick whatever they want.

    Unless Verizon is getting out of the home internet business... eventually they will have to look at getting back to building out new FIOS coverage.

    Buying into a locked contract to get fiber build out... is exactly what lead to this mess in the first place.
     
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  8. BDLNDLVR

    BDLNDLVR Member

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    The SWHOA needs to go away and refund the residents money immediately. Their behavior in charging every homeowner first $45 a month and now $100 a month is outrageous.
     
  9. BDLNDLVR

    BDLNDLVR Member

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    Zeratul - It is not just "I hate SWHOA" and "TJ" who are complaining here. Residents mostly ignored the first few months where SWHOA2 charged $45 per month, but they got their attention when they greedily upped it to $100 a month. Your reply to TJ sounds extortionate ie Pay the SWHOA2 board for a purpose that is beyond its legal charter, regardless of the amount or whether there is any value to the residents, or bad things will happen to you. For whatever personal reason, you have been actively justifying the SWHOA on this thread but have been unable to explain:

    1. What legal right the SWHOA2 has to charge residents for a purpose unrelated to our former contract with Openband (which was the SOLE reason they were formed)
    2. What specific monetary benefit we are getting for these now very high ($100 each month) additional charges levied by SWHOA2
    3. Why don't we put this new fee to a vote by all residents (other than the SWHOA2's obvious fear it will almost certainly lose its future ability to grab residents money)
    4. After spending an inordinate amount of money to remove our requirement to pay monthly fees to Openband for cable, and finally ridding ourselves of this onerous requirement, why on earth would we now want to involuntarily spend an inordinate amount of money, each month, to an unelected, unaccountable SWHOA 2 for an intangible benefit, which may ultimately prove to be worthless?
    5. What is to stop the unelected SWHOA2 from charging fees for whatever it deems appropriate forever? First we will need the easment, then a compensation package to lure in a provider, then a monthly fee to pay for the new provider's monopoly, then a new fee for legal fees to try and get out of the monopoly, etc.

    If, as I suspect, the SWHOA2 Board has no legal right to impose these new easment seeking fees on our community, then they also have no right to retaliate against any homeowner who refuses to pay these new groundless fees...

    As you can probably tell, I am furious with the arrogance of the members of SWHOA2, who obviously believe they have the right to their neighbors bank accounts without a proper vote and agreement.
     
  10. shim

    shim shim

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    BDLNDLVR from downtown, nothing but net! Well put, thank you.
     
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  11. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to help since I seem to be the only resident who actually attempts to get information and answers. This is the main problem with using a Forum....you only seem to be able to express your outrage but not actually have a useful exchange. Your questions have all been answered before... I can understand not liking some of the answers you are hearing (I have been there too) but you are going to get no where by simply typing them here. The SWHOA has the legal rights to do all of this. I suggest you gather all the necessary documents (I am glad to share my copies) and consult a lawyer. We have been down that path many times before. I have been challenging the HOA's actions for years and I actually go to the source when I feel its important. Hold your elected representatives accountable...do more than just express it here.

    And Steve, you are just making the matter worse by putting arbitrary numbers and technical details in your argument since they are not accurate or even an option. It is not as simple to present but what you put in your 2 examples are not a fair set of questions based upon what we have heard so far. The technology choices are not as simple and you do not factor the time frame aspect either. It could take years after the easement purchase for many homeowners to even have a choice and at a price substantially higher. If we go the route of a short-term contract, we get the community wired MUCH faster and with a guaranteed level of service. Without that initial contract... the community would be stuck for years waiting to see what happens and pushing their local representatives to get them connected. And the internet speeds Comcast is talking about is 25mbs, not 75.

    And all the while we wait for service...Openband is free to raise their rates with no limits and no competition.... like I said, just trying to help.
     
  12. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    I used examples Comcast and Verizon offer me directly right here in Broadlands. If Comcast can offer 75meg to me, via infrastructure they built out many years ago... I'd question why a brand new build out can't offer similar services. I can't compare with the exact offerings on the table.. because it's being treated like state secrets or something.

    If you think I'm not helping because I'm challenging the statements, that's probably a sign you are not articulating your case very well. My illustration was to point out that the 'case for' is not being presented well at all when your constituents are especially sensitive about locked in participation and exclusivity. For instance, now you say the agreement has a value in that the build out would happen immediately, where otherwise it could be 'years' (in your words) without a up-front deal. Why can't someone articulate why other new home owners can get Comcast to build out their street without a multi-year commitment? Is it developer paying a fee, or what? Instead of hearing "here is the best option" from a group that has eroded every bit of trust and credibility... they should present a case to support their conclusions.

    Instead what is done? Withhold information, give out vague statements, and push plans that ask for huge commitments from homeowners without convincing them or giving them piece of mind regarding their concerns.

    As I tell coworkers: Don't dictate to them, Convince them. You build champions of your ideas, instead of creating slaves to your ideas.

    You keep saying goto the source - newsflash... The SWHOA has a long history of excluding people they don't feel they HAVE to face. I'm a Broadlands resident, I got involved with the HOA for the very same reason you are facing now... we were trying to explore how to get high speed internet to the community back before cable internet was offered here. I'm interested in the topic.. I think it's relevant for the entire Broadlands community because what happens in SWHOA has impact on the larger Broadlands as well. But not being a SW resident, I don't feel like I'd be welcome to observe or participate in Q&A. And they aren't making the information available.

    When you make things difficult to find... you suffer the consequences that people will have to operate with a lack of information.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  13. JJB

    JJB New Member

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    The one piece of information that is overlooked in all of this discussion is the upfront cost to the provider (whomever that turns out to be) to come into Southern Walk and put their fiber under the streets and to the homes. Neither is going to put fiber or coax into this neighborhood without some sort of guaranteed return. Open Band is not going to let Verizon or Comcast use the Open Band fiber to get to each home. It doesn’t work that way. The only way either will come in and lay their cable is with access to the easement. I doubt any of the people complaining about the cost to buy the easement would be willing to put forth the upfront money to lay the cable without some sort of guaranteed return. It doesn’t make business sense.
     
  14. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Steve I appreciate where you are coming from and you correctly point out the challenge with trying to use this Forum as a way to completely articulate, what I think is a complicated discussion. I do not have all the information, I am not a Board member. I was literally the only one that attended the last Special Meeting. There is a lot of information available, that is how I at least learned something and had the chance to ask questions.

    And you also correctly point out the biggest complaint (my opinion) about the SWHOA - lack or communication. Yes meetings are great and need to happen but what about all the other ways these details could be shared? Yes a FAQ was good, but that took about 20 minutes to write and is already out of date.

    And I have no problem with challenging the statements, it was more about using data and examples that would not apply in our case... it confuses the conversation I think, and gives people the wrong basis for comparing. IF Verizon is able to arrange a deal... their offer would like include internet speeds capable of 750 Mbps us and down. Comcast could offer Gigabit internet, but with their Fiber solution only.

    I do not have all the scenarios or options in front of me... that is something I think the HOA will have to present when making the case/justification for their ideas.

    And JJB, you do have to remember that Comcast will be REQUIRED to put cable into SouthernWalk. Their Franchise license requires this. The big questions revolve around how quickly, what technology, and what services will be offered. If Comcast starts putting wires... would Verizon try to as well? The financial interests might be good enough for them since Broadlands North has wires... but these are open questions. Yes we could wait...years I think but it would be nice to have more confidence in these issues.
     
  15. T. H.

    T. H. New Member

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    Aren't both Verizon and Comcast in the business of making money? I would think if they had the opportunity to potentially get almost 1200 new customers they would lay their lines quickly and offer their best service. If they were to come in offering slower service than OB currently does why would anyone use them? So again lets have some competition in this market (which by the way was my understanding for the $$ that SWHOA collected from me the past few years was for). When I moved in I DID sign a contract with OB and SW, but I will NOT sign another, and I have read the SWHOA docs that I have signed and NO where does it say they can make me sign another. If this goes through I see another law suite coming and this time it will be against SWHOA and its board.
     
  16. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately it seems that many of you are not as well informed as you could or should be. You do not have to sign anything else for this type of action to happen. Don't take my word for it...please look into it and if you really feel like the next step for you is to hire a lawyer and spend more of your own money then you do what you think makes sense. The contract you signed is what I assume is the now defunct agreement...so not even relevant any more. And remember, if you do take legal action against the SWHOA, we all pay the legal defense costs against you.

    Both Verizon and Comcast have provided feedback on this topic. My feedback on what I have learned is based upon this information. Comcast indicated that they would not install Fiber. They would follow the path of regular cable. If the market is open to all... and the vendors must share the possible 1200 homes, it is less attractive (my opinion). DirecTV is already here for many... and internet is the only attractive addition for some. If Openband continues to offer their internet I think the ability of Comcast or Verizon to compete with all of that is not as attractive or simple as you make it sound.

    I guess the positive side to all of this is more homeowners are paying more attention...
     
  17. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    The 'three way agreement' for OB services would be no longer applicable.. but the SWHOA is still a legal HOA and able to charge HOA fees under that guise I would expect. I would look for the documents spelling out the HOA contingencies, binding, etc.
     
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  18. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

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    I'm with Zeratul on those points...

    * We, as a community, would have to spend additional funds to "defend" the SWHOA against you even if we agree with you (or not even agree with you). If SWHOA prevails in court, you will have to repay the community back for the legal fees (We probably won't even get the funds back as homeowners).

    * Its to your benefit to consult an attorney to see what your options are and how strong your arguments are. Trust me, its very convoluted and will be very expensive since there are MULTIPLE documents you'd have to wade through all of this.

    * SWHOA may not agree with the community as a whole and may make their OWN decisions without even consulting us. This brings the entire situation back to where it first happened in the past when the Board was different. I'm hoping that this new Board is FAR MORE transparent with everything. If not, its deja vu all over again. I'm not holding my breath that they will be more transparent because people in control at the top don't like to let others tell them what to do....once they are at the top...they hold the purse strings and can do whatever they want to do with it--screw the resident's opinions. That's why some people don't want to live in HOAs because of this exact reason. They don't want to be screwed over.

    * Good luck with your own decisions.
     
  19. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Zeratul, if this is what Comcast stated, then I'm confused. If they are saying that without a 'contract' they would only lay regular cable, and would lay fiber if they had an exclusivity agreement, wouldn't you think the cost difference between laying RG6 and Fiber is minimal? They're saying they would lay something to provide service (RG6) regardless. In my personal opinion, this just sounds like them trying 'threaten' residents into an exclusivity contract. If they're going to lay something in the ground to provide service, and spend the money to do so, don't you think they would lay fiber instead of RG6? Why would they spend the money to do something like that, with the possibility of another provider coming in and putting down fiber and essentially killing their investment? Or worse yet, another provider buying the infrastructure from OpenBand and almost immediately being able to provide service, without having to lay down anything?

    Sounds like Comcast might not be totally truthful in their discussions with SWHOA. Of course, they can say what they want - and it sounds like their 'threat' might be gaining traction, based on some of the posts I'm reading here...

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  20. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

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    If they threaten us like that, then we should exclude them from the opportunity of a contract and from ever providing service to us for the three yr contract. I leery of the HOA of ever accepting an exclusivity contract where there is a possibility of them turning into a rogue contract where we had to pay a few millions to get out of. This is possibly turning into another slippery slope!!!
     

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